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Cedar River Source Partnership

The Cedar River Source Water Partnership (CRSWP) is a project to improve drinking water quality, reduce flood risk downstream, and help improve wildlife habitat through practices the farmers can implement on their operation. The USDA-NRCS’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program. $4.9 million of the USDA funding will go straight to farmers to help them pay for conservation practices. The remaining $2.1 million will go to education and outreach, as well as help for harmers to make smart decisions about what will work best on their land. In addition, the 11 CRSWP partners will contribute an estimated $12 million to providing technical assistance resources and additional financial incentives to growers for implementing conservation practices.

Iowa Farmers in the Cedar River Watershed may qualify for cost-share incentives to implement the following conservation practices:

Cover Crops: Grasses, legumes, and forbs planted for season vegetative cover to reduce erosion and improve soil health.
No-till/Strip-till: Limiting soil disturbance to reduced erosion and excessive sediment in surface water and improve soil health.
Bioreactors: A bioreactor is a buried trench of woodchips attached to a tile line on the edge of a field where microbes breakdown nitrates to improve water quality.
Saturated Buffers: A saturated buffer is an underground perforated pipe attached to the end of a tile line. It runs parallel to a ditch or stream, allowing water to release more slowly so nitrates can bebroken down.
Wetland Creation, Enhancement, or Restoration: A wetland is a shallow vegetated pool that helps filter nutrients, especially nitrates. Wetlands are usually restored in low-yield areas of a field.
Prairie Strips and Related Practices: Prairie strips are small areas of native prairie species strategically placed in a row crop field.

Links & Articles: Cedar River Source Partnership RCPP

RCPP Info Sheet
Tillage Management Guide
Data Collection Sheet for Carbon Credits

Soil Conservation Concerns – USDA
Breaking Down Cover Crops with Dr. Jennifer Wells – Truterra
Transitioning to Conservation Tillage with Dr. Jennifer Wells – TruTerra